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Combofix?!?!


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#1 Youngest78

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:00 AM

Ok, i posted recently asking how i could get rid of AVG off mt laptop in order to run combofix as CF was finding it active when i tried to run it.
I downloaded an AVG remover programme, which seemed to have removed all files etc. But CF is still bringing it up as active. I ok'd it anyway, then CF asked if i wanted to download a more recent version, so i did, and now it's come up with the same AVG error (how is that possible?) and also another error message saying that combofix has been compromised and i may now be infected with a virus called "virut"???

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:10 AM

Virut is a polymorphic file infector with IRCBot functionality which infects .exe, .scr files, downloads more malicious files to your system, and opens a back door that compromises your computer.

When virut is present ComboFix may not work and provide a warning that virut was detected:

!!ALEART!! It is not SAFE to continue!
The contents of the Combofix package has been compromised.
Please download a fresh copy from:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/comb...o-use-combofix
Note: You may be infected with a file patching virus (Virut)

With this particular infection, the safest solution and only sure way to remove it effectively is to reformat and reinstall the OS.

According to this Norman White Paper Assessment of W32/Virut, some variants can infect the HOSTS file and block access to security related web sites. Other variants of virut can even penetrate and infect .exe files within compressed files (.zip, .cab, rar). The Virux and Win32/Virut.17408 variants are an even more complex file infectors which can embed an iframe into the body of web-related files and infect script files (.php, .asp, .htm, .html, .xml). When Virut creates infected files, it also creates non-functional files that are corrupted beyond repair and in some instances can disable Windows File Protection. In many cases the infected files cannot be disinfected properly by your anti-virus. When disinfection is attempted, the files become corrupted and the system may become irreparable. The longer virut remains on a computer, the more critical system files will become infected and corrupt so the degree of infection can vary.

The virus disables Windows File Protection by injecting code into the "winlogon.exe" process that patches system code in memory.

CA Virus detail of W32/Virut

The virus has a number of bugs in its code, and as a result it may misinfect a proportion of executable files....some W32/Virut.h infections are corrupted beyond repair.

McAfee Risk Assessment and Overview of W32/Virut

There are bugs in the viral code. When the virus produces infected files, it also creates non-functional files that also contain the virus...Due to the damaged caused to files by virut it's possible to find repaired but corrupted files. They became corrupted by the incorrect writing of the viral code during the process of infection. undetected, corrupted files (possibly still containing part of the viral code) can also be found. this is caused by incorrectly written and non-function viral code present in these files.

AVG Overview of W32/VirutThis kind of infection is often contracted and spread by visiting remote, crack and keygen sites. These type of sites are infested with a smörgåsbord of malware and a major source of system infection.

...warez and crack web pages are being used by cybercriminals as download sites for malware related to VIRUT and VIRUX. Searches for serial numbers, cracks, and even antivirus products like Trend Micro yield malcodes that come in the form of executables or self-extracting files...quick links in these sites also lead to malicious files. Ads and banners are also infection vectors...

Keygen and Crack Sites Distribute VIRUX and FakeAV

However, the CA Security Advisor Research Blog have found MySpace user pages carrying the malicious Virut URL. Either way you can end up with a computer system so badly damaged that recovery is not possible and it cannot be repaired. When that happens there is nothing you can do besides reformatting and reinstalling the OS.

If your computer was used for online banking, has credit card information or other sensitive data on it, you should disconnect from the Internet until your system is cleaned. All passwords should be changed immediately to include those used for banking, email, eBay, paypal and online forums. You should consider them to be compromised. You should change each password using a clean computer and not the infected one. If not, an attacker may get the new passwords and transaction information. If using a router, you need to reset it with a strong logon/password so the malware cannot gain control before connect again. Banking and credit card institutions should be notified of the possible security breach. Because your computer was compromised please read:Since virut is not effectively disinfectable, your best option is to perform a full reformat as there is no guarantee this infection can be completely removed. In most instances it may have caused so much damage to your system files that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. In many cases the infected files cannot be deleted and anti-malware scanners cannot disinfect them properly. Many experts in the security community believe that once infected with this type of malware, the best course of action is to reformat and reinstall the OS. Reinstalling Windows without first wiping the entire hard drive with a repartition and/or format will not remove the infection. The reinstall will only overwrite the Windows files. Any malware on the system will still be there afterwards. Please read:
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#3 Youngest78

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:20 AM

This error message referring to virut is therefore informing me that Combofix cannot help? And so therefore there is no point in running it?
The general message I get from your reply is that my only hope is to reformat the laptop. Does this mean I would have to save off the laptop any media such as videos, albums and photos that I have saved on there? And that any software I have on it will be wiped?

To reinstall the OS, would i need to get a disc from somewhere with it on?

#4 quietman7

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:58 AM

The general message I get from your reply is that my only hope is to reformat the laptop.

Your decision as to what action to take should be made by reading and asking yourself the questions presented in the "When should I re-format?" and "...Now What Do I Do?" links previously provided. As I already said, with this particular infection, the only sure way to remove it effectively is to reformat and reinstall the OS or do a factory restore with a vendor-specific Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition removes everything and is the safest action but I cannot make that decision for you.

If you insist on trying to fix this infection instead of following our advice to reformat and reinstall your operating system, there are some tools and various rescue disks available from major anti-virus vendors which you can try. From what I have read, seen, and tried its virtually impossible to completely remove and just a waste of time. You can try booting from every rescue disk you can find but they will likely leave you computer in an unbootable state in as a result of futile attempts to repair system files and drivers. Even the vendors like Kaspersky say there is no quarantee that some files will not get corrupted during the disinfection process. In the end most folks end up reformatting out of frustration after spending hours attempting to repair and remove infected files. IMO the safest and easiest thing to do is just reformat and reinstall Windows.

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT assume any responsibility for your attempt to repair this infection using any of the following tools. You do this at your own risk and against our advice.

If the computer is bootable, you can try disinfection through a combination of the following tools:
  • Dr.Web CureIt.
  • Norman Malware Cleaner.
  • VIPRE Rescue Program - the size of the downloaded application is large. This is a utility designed to scan and clean a computer which is so badly infected that most programs cannot run. Virus definitions are included and the program is self-running once executed. Be sure to print out and follow the instructions provided on the same page for running under Windows or with the Command Line option from Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
  • AVG Win32/Virut Remover. The AVG tool was last updated in August 2008 and is not very effective for the reasons I indicated above.
These are links to Anti-virus vendors that offer free LiveCD or Rescue CD utilities that are used to boot from for repair of unbootable and damaged systems, rescue data, scan the system for virus infections. Burn it as an image to a disk to get a bootable CD. All (except Avira) are in the ISO Image file format. Avira uses an EXE that has built-in CD burning capability.If you are not sure how to burn an image, please read How to write a CD/DVD image or ISO. If you need a FREE utility to burn the ISO image, download and use ImgBurn.

Note: In order to use a rescue disk, the boot order must be set to start from the CD-ROM drive. If the CD is not first in the boot order, the computer will attempt to start normally by booting from the hard drive. The boot order is a setting found in the computer’s BIOS which runs when it is first powered on. This setting controls the order that the BIOS uses to look for a boot device from which to load the operating system. The default will normally be A:, C:, CD-ROM. Different computers have different ways to enter the BIOS. If you're not sure how to do this, refer to:Caution: If you are considering backing up data and reformatting, keep in mind, with a Virut infection, there is always a chance of backed up data reinfecting your system. If the data is that important to you, then you can try to salvage some of it but there is no guarantee so be forewarned that you may have to start over again afterwards if reinfected by attempting to recover your data. Only back up your important documents, personal data files, photos to a CD or DVD drive, not a flash drive or external hard drive as they may become compromised in the process. The safest practice is not to backup any executable files (*.exe), screensavers (*.scr), autorun (.ini) or script files (.php, .asp, .htm, .html, .xml ) files because they may be infected by malware. Avoid backing up compressed files (.zip, .cab, .rar) that have executable files inside them as some types of malware can penetrate and infect .exe files within compressed files too. Other types of malware may even disguise itself by adding and hiding its extension to the existing file extension as shown here so be sure you look closely at the full file name. If you cannot see the file extension, you may need to reconfigure Windows to show file name extensions. Then make sure you scan the backed up data with your anti-virus prior to to copying it back to your hard drive.

If your CD/DVD drive is unusable, another word of caution if you are considering backing up to an external usb hard drive as your only alternative. External drives are more susceptible to infection and can become compromised in the process of backing up data. I'm not saying you should not try using such devices but I want to make you aware of all your options and associated risks so you can make an informed decision if its worth that risk.

Again, do not back up any data with the following file extensions: exe, .scr, .ini, .htm, .html, .php, .asp, .xml, .zip, .rar, .cab as they may be infected.

If you're not sure how to reformat or need help with reformatting, please review:These links include step-by-step instructions with screenshots:Vista users can refer to these instructions:Don't forget you will have to go to Microsoft Update and apply all Windows security patches after reformatting.

Note: If you're using an IBM, Sony, HP, Compaq or Dell machine, you may not have an original XP CD Disk. By policy Microsoft no longer allows OEM manufactures to include the original Windows XP CD-ROM on computers sold with Windows preinstalled. Instead, most computers manufactured and sold by OEM vendors come with a vendor-specific Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition for performing a clean "factory restore" that will reformat your hard drive, remove all data and restore the computer to the state it was in when you first purchased it. See Technology Advisory Recovery Media. If the recovery partition has become infected, you will need to contact the manufacturer, explain what happened and ask them to send full recovery disks to use instead..

If you need additional assistance with reformatting or partitioning, you can start a new topic in the Operating Systems Subforums forum.
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